Friday, November 15, 2019

No Sasquatch Romance Here

Well, I'm disappointed.  I thought Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things would be some kind of romance with Bigfoot. No, I'm not weird or anything! People are all kissy face with vampires, zombies, ghosts, and werewolves. Why not Sasquatch? It would have been more interesting than the romance between these blah teenagers. Honestly, how many times can characters smirk and bite their lips? Too many YA novels have their protagonists smirking and biting their lips all through the book. Nobody really does this! Have some imagination, people.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

People Look At Me and Say This

Yes, yes you do.

Pretty Little Dead Girls

Lately I've binge read Mercedes Yardley, just lately finishing Pretty Little Dead Girls. Something I appreciate in horror is humor. I'm not much into guts spewing, but if you spew your guts because you're laughing, that's all right by me.

Pretty Little Dead Girls' subtitle is A Novel of Murder and Whimsey. And it is. In the last novel of Ms. Yardley's that I read, Apocalypse Montessa and Nuclear Lu, it was hard to like any of the characters. It was wonderfully written, but even though the protagonists were damaged in childhood, it's hard to get on the side of serial killers.

The opposite happens in Pretty Little Dead Girls. It's so easy to make good, kind characters mushy, but Ms. Yardley has a real talent for making characters likeable without becoming treacle. Even questionable characters are changed for the better by Bryony, the young lady destined to be murdered. She's sweet, but she's not a Pollyanna.

The desert Southwest is a character, too, screaming and creeping to Bryony's father's door, desiring to get its deserty hands on his daughter.

The serial killer is rotten and that's how it should be. Of course, the killings aren't funny, but there are lots of fun bits, a real relief when there is horror all around.

The Memory Police

Some of us read horror because we like to be afraid. Some of us (not mentioning who) read horror because something is slightly "off." I like it because, frankly, my real life is kind of boring.

A book I liked got a lot of press for being literary, but seemed to be ignored by the dark fiction reviewers. Maybe I just missed it, but I thought this would appeal to horror readers. It's The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa. What could be more scary than being hauled off by "memory police" just for being normal?

On an island, things disappear. Not like they're lost. People wake up one morning, realize there are no more ribbons, and in mass they bring all ribbons to public places to be burned. When they wake up to realize all roses have disappeared, the entire town brings their roses and throws them in the river. One day it's birds. Another day they wake up to find books have disappeared so they bring all books to be burned and finally burn down the library.

To make things creepier, if a person hides something, for sentimental reasons or because they like it, if the memory police find out (and they do because they search houses) the owner is arrested and "disappeared."

Are things really disappearing? Or has the entire population gone mad? Or is this a hint of what a police state is like?

Don't take the chance of having books disappear! Read it now!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Excellent News

My flash fiction story, Thelma Takes the Devil, won first prize in Crystal Lake Publishing Halloween-themed contest. I'm really extra happy because this story was voted on and chosen by the subscribers of Crystal Lake's Patreon page. It's good to know somebody besides my mother likes my writing. It's kind of hard to know what Mama thinks since she's dead, but I'm sure she'd like my stories. I think. She might just think they're weird.

Yes, now that I think about it, she probably would think my writing was weird.

There's an interview with me coming up soon. I'll let you know when that appears.

Here's another cat photo because I promised. The cat is the one in the foreground. Her name is Sophie.

Disgruntled Cat

Disgruntled Cat:  She says she writes, but I don't see a thing that says Linda J. Marshall.

Answer: That's because it's still coming. Short horror story, Kudzu Stories, in Arterial Bloom in February and Thelma Takes the Devil in Shallow Waters, date to be announced. Both from Crystal Lake Publishing, a many-time Stoker award winner for best in horror and great people to work with.